Talk with Andy Worthington
Thursday January 10
10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific
What's with the prison that won't end? Ask Andy Worthington about the prisoners at Guantanamo and his project Close Guantanamo.
Ironies of living in the post-Bush world:
1. The only CIA operative connected to waterboarding and torture during the Bush regime to be jailed, John Kiriakou, will go to prison for giving an agent's name to reporters in connection with an investigation aimed at exposing enhanced interrogation techniques. The agents who did the torture face no sanctions at all, and in fact are glorified in popular culture, like the new film Zero Dark Thirty.
2. In 2009, the Bush regime promoter of "enhanced interrogation" (torture to most of the world), John Brennan, was too controversial an appointment for Obama to make to head the CIA, so he became a special advisor in charge of the drone program. In 2013, Brennan is safe enough to get the CIA job. Has Brennan or Obama changed? Not so much. But many critics of torture have been silenced under the Democrat commander in chief.
The Brennan nomination Monday, described as "sure" to succeed in Congress, brought this from The Telegraph:
"The mastermind of Barack Obama's secret drone war was chosen on Monday to lead the CIA and 'relentlessly' extend its controversial campaign against al-Qaeda into the president's second term."
Glenn Greenwald writes in The Guardian:
"Brennan last year got caughtoutright lying when he claimed Obama's drone program caused no civilian deaths in Pakistan over the prior year. He also spouted complete though highly influential falsehoods to the world in the immediate aftermath of the Osama bin Laden killing, including claiming that bin Laden "engaged in a firefight" with Navy SEALS and had 'used his wife as a human shield'. Brennan has also been in charge of many of Obama's most controversial and radical policies, including "signature strikes" in Yemen - targeting people without even knowing who they are - and generally seizing the power to determine who will be marked for execution without any due process, oversight or transparency."
At a December meeting to plan the Network to Stop Drone Spying and Warfare, a few people thought the graphic, below left, was over the top. How do we think the rest of the world sees the Nobel Peace Prize Commander in Chief now?
Spencer Ackerman writes, "Even if the White House doesn’t know a target’s name, he can still be marked for death. Obama has provided the CIA with authority to kill not only suspected militants, but unknown individuals it believes follow a pattern of militant activity, in what it terms “signature strikes.” The drone program has killed an undisclosed number of civilians. A recent study conducted by Center for Civilians in Conflict and Columbia Law School’s human-rights branch explored how they’ve torn the broader social fabric in tribal Pakistan, creating paranoia that neighbors are informing on each other and traumatizing those who live under the buzz of Predator and Reaper engines. Those traumas are raising alarm bells from some of the U.S.’ most experienced counterterrorists."
PROTEST U.S. Drone War on the World:
Monthly Protest v US Drones & Torture.
Join World Can't Wait, Witness Against Torture & DC Area peace groups.
Saturday, Jan 12 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM
CIA HEADQUARTERS 900 block of Dolley Madison Blvd., Langley, Virginia Info: Jack McHale 703 772 0635
Join in Monday January 21 Inauguration Day in Washington for the largest protest of the US drone wars. Meridian Hill Park (Malcolm X Park) rally at 9 am. 10 am march down 16th Street NW to K Street NW (near the White House). We will have the largest fleet of replica protest Predator Drones we've yet assembled to attract public and media attention.
Help carry photos of people killed by drones in Pakistan & Afghanistan; flyer the public; move the drones through the streets.
Thursday, January 17 - Sunday January 20, drone opponents will walk from Baltimore to DC. "We are taking a 1/5 actual size reaper drone 8 feet long with an 11 foot wingspan mounted on on a yard wagon with 10 inch pneumatic tires. Join for an hour, a day or for the whole walk bringing the drone issue to the President and Congress." Contact Jules Orkin.
11 Years of Guantanamo Protests & Events this week
I strongly encourage you to get out to showings nationwide of Zero Dark Thirty, opening Friday January 11. We are making use of the irony that the film opens as the twelth year of the illegal prison at Guantanamo begins. Downloade a flyer here and go talk to people! Here are various events: